Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

October 9, 2009

WOW describes Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival

The Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival, a six-day celebration of the wild side of the Outer Banks region of North Carolina, is set for Nov. 3 through 8.

Birding, natural history, photography and paddling are just some of the types of programs planned for the festival which spans Veteran's Day weekend.

Participants should come prepared to be introduced to the real world of the Outer Banks where adventure is whatever folks long to enjoy. Programs are led by experienced leaders who volunteer each year to share their wealth of knowledge and perhaps to share an experience or two about their own adventures. This year's offerings range from theater to kayaking, photography to birding. And photography classes include programs especially designed for families with children.

Always a favorite are the offshore birding excursions. Birders from around the world recognize the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras as one of the top sites in North America for viewing seabirds, especially the endangered Black-capped Petrel. Fall is also a great time to see shearwaters, jaegers, and other pelagic birds. This birding adventure on the safe and comfortable Stormy Petrel II with Captain Brian Patteson is an opportunity for all serious birders to add to their life lists.

Beginner birders can learn some of the basics in a new program - Birding 101. Using a combination of classroom discussion and outside observation, participants will learn techniques to locate, observe and identify birds. Designed for the beginning birder, others may learn methods to expand their birding skills as well.

And The Global Connection is a fascinating program that focuses on how birds are impacted globally.

Positioned on the Atlantic Flyway, the Outer Banks is both a destination and a stopover for birds traveling along their migration route connecting our state to many parts of the world. Learn about the various species that use the OBX in their long journeys and see first-hand how habitats in other countries impact their life cycle. Learn how your daily cup of coffee can also impact and benefit birds that summer with us in North Carolina.

Backyard birders can learn how to make their yards more bird-friendly during Landscaping for Birds and Butterflies.

Develop your own home landscape into a sanctuary for birds and butterflies with the knowledge gained from this seminar. Participants will receive detailed, full color handouts that focus on plants for birds and butterflies. Procedures to develop a North Carolina and National Wildlife Federation-certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat will also be provided. These three birding workshops will be led by Lena Gallitano.

This festival is traditionally set during the shoulder season when rates are lower for accommodations, traffic is light and the weather is mild.

As always, the festival includes a wide variety of programs and this year -- due to popular demand -- there are an increased number of photography programs to be taught by professionals. Classes have been designed for both the skilled and not-so-practiced, as well as some programs for children and/or families.

To learn more about the Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival call 252-216-9464 or go to www.wingsoverwater.org.